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Daddy dating game Dream Daddy will soon be dispensing its delightful daddies for the delectation of PlayStation 4 owners, starting on October 30th.
Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator launched on PC last year and quickly became something of an internet sensation. Turns out everyone's thirsty for daddies. It casts players in the role of a lonely single father (daddy) who moves into Maple Bay with their daughter Amanda. The game itself unfolds in classic visual novel style, with players - having established an avatar of their own - able to pursue the hot daddy of their dreams through conversation, mini-games, and good old-fashioned (off-screen) boinking.
Choice daddies include Mat, Craig, Hugo, Brian, Damien, Robert, and Joseph. A quick Eurogamer staff poll appears to agree that Robert is the best daddy.
I'm talking to Jake Birkett of Grey Alien Games, developer of Regency Solitaire and upcoming card-based RPG Shadowhand. "It occurred the day after I had done some kind of crunch until 5 am," he says. "I got up in the morning and crawled under my desk to switch the plugs on, and my back went out. I'm just in my early 40s now."
In a blog post from 2015, creative director Clint Hocking said the 80-hour weeks he worked during the development of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory "gave me brain damage". Whether or not crunch time is necessary to release a game ‘on time' is a perennial topic in game development circles. The web connecting contractors, publishers, platform holders and developers that determines how release dates are decided upon, and whether they actually get met, is obscured behind a cloud of non-disclosure agreements. When you throw the possibility of community-enraging delays into this potent mix, it quickly becomes apparent how developing a schedule that allows you to make an excellent game, while taking care of yourself and launching in a reasonable period of time, is far more complicated than it might initially appear.
Since release dates are usually set far in advance of a game's completion, developers are always trying to find more efficient ways to account for hurdles that pop up along the way. In the case of Dream Daddy, director Tyler Hutchison developed a compiler that, no matter what changes were made during the game's dev cycle, would automatically plug all of the elements of the visual novel in their proper places upon its completion. However, despite this tool, the team still worked 14-16 hour days leading up to launch. "It was a team of all indie developer people so everyone was just like, ‘Nah, this is fine! We'll just make some more coffee and keep going!'" Hutchison says. "Everyone was really gung-ho, and, of course, that completely exhausted us." Dream Daddy ended up being delayed by six days, but after the resulting exhaustion, the team still worked overtime. "All of us were so aware of it," says Hutchison. "To be like, 'Okay, we're not gonna do this again!' And then we'd send a build to QA at 4 am and just be like, ‘Fuck! We did it again!'
Tanya X Short, co-founder of Moon Hunters developer Kitfox Games, explained the phenomenon of consistent overwork thusly: "Crunching can feel amazing. You feel more productive, even when you're not!
"Every dev dreads disappointing their players, but, honestly, if you have to choose between disappointing them with a delay or disappointing them with a buggy sub-par game experience, I'll pick the delay every time."
Regardless of developer size, it seems the conversation of how to mitigate crunch when it feels necessary regularly occupies the industry. Bill Gardner, lead designer on BioShock, and cofounder of Perception developer The Deep End Games, recalls Irrational Games occasionally forcing people to leave the building so that they could get some much-needed rest. "The sad reality is every place I've ever been to, every project I've ever worked on, I've never spoken to anyone who knows how to avoid it," he says. "In an ideal industry, that wouldn't be a thing, but games are incredibly complex. No amount of planning, or foresight, or arcane ritual is going to allow developers to anticipate the increasing complexity of the things we make."
As demoralising as a delay can be for both developers and their audiences, that extra time could mean yet another developer won't get burned out of the industry they love. In the case of BioShock Infinite, executive VP of development Rod Fergusson felt even a month-long delay could be the difference between releasing a good title, or a great one. The risk of a delay isn't trivial, either. "A delay can be completely devastating," Paul Kilduff-Taylor cofounder of Frozen Synapse developer Mode 7 Games, tells me. "You can lose money you've already committed to advertising; you can lose a promotional slot with a platform holder; you can get into cashflow difficulties because you have to wait to release the game: delays can potentially sink a company if it isn't healthy to begin with."
Which again brings me to crunch: the labour practice everyone bemoans, but few manage to eliminate. When a schedule looks inadequate, and a milestone is looming large, crunch often seems like the only option left.
"It can be very hard just to keep your normal everyday life going," Helen Carmichael of Grey Alien Games says, "But to be productive, effective worker, you still need to eat, sleep and wash. All of those things are really positive and important, and it's easy to let them slide."
The voting for the Golden Joystick Awards presented with Omen by HP closes in just under three weeks (November 3rd), and before that happens, we want to see our favourites from the last 12 months get the recognition they deserve. Not to manipulate the process because we want all the PC games to win in every category, or anything, but because there are so many amazing projects nominated that we want to celebrate.
If you vote, too, you get a free digital copy of The Best PC Games Ever, which we published earlier this year. Take a look here for more information on what's inside, but it contains a great making of feature on the All Ghillied Up mission from Call of Duty 4, retrospectives on classics like Red Alert 2, Deus Ex, Max Payne 2 and tons more. All you have to do is vote, enter your email, then you'll receive instructions on claiming this lovely-looking digital book.
There's a bunch of great PC games up for awards at the Golden Joysticks this year. Rock-hard modern classic Cuphead is up for best visual design, for example, and offbeat horror platformer Little Nightmares is deservedly nominated for best audio. The best indie game category is full of great PC titles, of course: Dream Daddy, Everything, Friday the 13th, Night In The Woods, Pyre, Slime Rancher, Stories Untold, Tacoma, Thimbleweed Park and What Remains of Edith Finch. And that's just a few of the categories. There are three eSports categories, and the best PC games category has the likes Total War: Warhammer 2, Endless Space 2, West of Loathing, PUBG, Rising Storm 2: Vietnam and a bunch more—check out the voting page and pick your favourites.
Not only does Humble currently have its second ‘Very Positive’ bundle going on right now, the site is now listing a separate sale, appropriately titled the ‘Very Positive Sale’. As with the bundle, the sale features a bunch of games all with ‘Very Positive’ or higher ratings on Steam right now, with discounts of up to 80%.
Before you ask, yes, that means you can get Dream Daddy for 9.89 / $13.49. Also featured are things like lovely retro Metroid-like Axiom Verge, perpetual Early Access feudal RPG Kenshi, the Homeworld Remastered Collection, Sniper Elite 4 and more.
We covered the strange adventure possible in Kenshi quite recently. In a year that gave us Divinity: Original Sin 2’s hungry elves and face-stealing undead, it’s astonishing to realise that Kenshi has weirder cannibalistic possibilities than Larian’s latest masterpiece.
Last week we asked you to show us your dream daddies. No, not your ideal father figures in real life, but the man you imagine when you think of—well, the imaginary cartoon man you'd like to guide through the choppy waters of the dad dating scene. And by dad dating, we mean dads dating other dads, exclusively. It's the premise of Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator, which starts of with a great character customizer, proven by some of the fantastic fathers you sent our way. Here are some of the best entries we received, with their provided descriptions attached (if they had one).
Some comments have been edited for grammar and clarity.
Dad: Hulk HoganDesigned by: Katarzyna Vidavidtch
What you do mean, oops?
Dad: Adam WildeDesigner: Mathilde Semin
"Adam Wilde, the Hipster Dad. ( Am I using "hipster" right ? Help me, Amanda ! ) King of trying too hard, very nitpicky on punctuation, and ready to mocha-out with one hot barista."
Every use of 'hipster' is the correct use. If I breathe or sip from a mug, I get called a hipster from someone in the building across the street. Fire away.
Dad: Al Nyason Designed by: Al
"My dad is pretty much a total drama queen, but he is also a total worrywart and tends to try and get Amanda to talk to him about her problems instead of letting her have her space. He apologizes for it though nonetheless. He knows when he is at fault. He just really gets worried easily. But other than that, he doesn't mind if he embarrasses himself with his antics with Amanda since he likes showing everyone that he has a good relationship with her. He tries his best to be the dad who his daughter can see as someone she can talk to when she can't talk to anyone else."
Dad: Geralt Designed by: Matthias
This dad needs no introduction.
Dad: Vince "Vinny" McCurdgeonDesigner: Mag Magnet
"He is the dad I would be, had I been born a dad. aLSO I SAW HIS LOOKALIKE IN A MALL TODAY??? I MADE HIM REAL!!!!!
PS I LOVE THIS GAME"
Dad: Geralt Designed by: Tirahmisu
"Is he daddy Geralt enough for you?" asked Tirahmisu in their submission.
Dad: Cornelius Flowers Designed by: Ronny
"My dadsona is Cornelious Flowers, freshly stepped out of an early '90s small town indie flick."
Played by a young Ryan Gosling, apparently.
Dad: Yui PlisetskyDesigned by: Lanean
This dad design is based on Yurio from the popular anime series, Yuri on Ice.
Dad: Jack HarperDesigned by: Melanie Hawke
"Beard and hair matches the outfit, of course. A good dad. A good egg."
That's a man, not an egg!
Dad: Mishka Medvedev Designed by: Loki Duck
"This is my dadsona Mishka Medvedev c: He's a Russian papa that looks grumpy and tired all the time but is actually really loving and friendly and speaks in broken English.
His name also basically means Teddy Bearson. XD"
Dad: Mayne Kretzky Designed by: Gokazaru
"My dadsona is an ice hockey coach named Mayne Kretzky. Like Wayne Gretzky, but with my initials."
So far, two of the dads we chose have ice-skating skills. Dads, take note.
Dad: Eggnips McGee Designed by: Brandykins
"Basically the male me, haha."
Cool, cool, but where can someone get that t-shirt? Asking for a friend.
What’s that unsettling white noise coming from the other room? Oh no, it’s the 10th episode of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. This week, the gang are talking about horror in games (but not necessarily “horror games”). Adam and Brendan are terrified by the depths of Subnautica, which doesn’t frighten Pip in the slightest.
But we also like playing non-scary things. Brendan has been competing in the purgatorial fantasy sport of Pyre, and Adam has been catching fish and watching tranquil sunsets in Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. Meanwhile, Pip has been dating dads in the gay suburban utopia of Dream Daddy. There’s also reader questions, in which we return to the subject of horror, and experience the shrill scream of a truly terrifying beast… (more…)